When I was new the old timers told me to identify with the others in the room, not compare myself to them. Easier said than done! One of the old ideas I came through the doors with is the belief that I have to be special to get all the goodies life has to offer. My egoic need to be special requires me to constantly compare myself with others—to see where I stand. The process of comparing myself with others separates me from life because I am always better than or less than, but never equal to. As long as I hold onto this deep seated need to be special I cannot be a worker among workers or a friend among friends. I stand alone outside the circle of life with my nose pressed up against the window wondering how to get in.
What I don’t realize is that I am already inside. In God’s eye I am already special, unique and different. I don’t realize this because I’m blocked by self-centered fear. When I identify with you I connect with the truth of what I am. Our drunk-a-logues may be different, but the feelings we suffered to reach our bottoms are exactly the same. I know all about your anxiety, your self-hate, your frustration and your confusion because I’ve felt the very same way. I identify with your moment of clarity. How life whispered to you that there was a better way to go than the way you were going. Finally, I identify with your courage to walk through life without the crutch of alcohol, drugs or other addictions. I know how hard this can be.
I have not entirely freed myself from the trap of specialness. But today I’m more aware when I separate myself from you. When I catch my frightened little ego judging, comparing, and struggling to win your approval, I realize I’ve strayed away from the herd. I reach into my toolbox to take some actions to bring me back into unity with what is, one drunk at a time.
Hindus have a cool way of greeting each other. They clasp their palms together in front of their hearts, bow their heads slightly and say “Namaste.” Namaste translates “the God in my greets the God in you.” Wow. This is real identification, real connection.